Published: Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Chair blog: progress




Over the last four years, we have made incredible progress in the development of our Scottish National Advanced Heart Failure Service (SNAHFS) as the number of individuals coming to the Golden Jubilee for treatment has increased dramatically. Alongside this growth, we have witnessed a fantastic improvement in patient outcomes, meaning we are now helping more people live healthy lives than ever before. 


Since moving to the Golden Jubilee in 2008, the SNAHFS service has been constantly striving to evolve; introducing new, complex, procedures and techniques to allow us to provide the highest possible standard of care for this group of patients who have complex needs. We are proud to say that this work is making a real difference to our patients.


Many of you may remember the incredible story ofBrian Keeley, who received a new heart and was able to make it home in time for Christmas last year following a traumatic battle with end stage heart failure. This remarkable recovery was only made possible thanks to the expertise and advanced technology we have readily available at the Golden Jubilee.


When first admitted, Brian was attached to an Autopulse device: a non-invasive cardiac support pump which allows blood to more efficiently flow through the body while life saving surgery was performed. The Golden Jubilee is one of only two UK centres to have this state of the art technology on site.


Similarly, during his recovery, Brian had to be placed on a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD or mechanical heart). In years gone by, this technology simply would not have been available, and Brian’s story may have had a very different ending. Since 2011 however, we have been dedicated to enhancing and improving the VADs which are available and are delighted that we are now able to provide our patients with the specialised treatment that gives their heart time to recover or until a transplant becomes available. 


Even more recently, our Scottish Adult Congenital Cardiac Service (SACCS) made headlines around the world following the miraculous recovery of Sarah Crawford.


Sarah initially thought nothing was majorly wrong when she attended the doctors, suffering from shortness of breath, dizziness and some chest pain. However, she was diagnosed with a Myocardial Fibroma – a large benign tumour, about the size of an orange, in the wall of her heart.


This was an incredibly rare condition, with only around 150 cases diagnosed in adults worldwide. Even more challenging, in 20 years of practice, our specialist had never seen one of this size. Sarah’s condition was so severe that she was nearly experiencing heart failure and was at risk of sudden death. But because of its size and position, any attempt to remove the tumour carried a very real risk of damaging the rest of her heart.


After consulting with specialists from the world renowned Mayo Clinic in America, who reported they had had some success in removing tumours of this type, it was confirmed that here at Golden Jubilee we had the necessary skill, experience and equipment to attempt the surgery. Seven months on from this incredibly complex procedure, Sarah is doing fantastically well and is set to celebrate her 30th birthday.


Over the past several years, we have worked tirelessly to build the Golden Jubilee into a world class facility with state of the art treatment and equipment available for all our patients.


With expansion in Orthopaedics and Ophthalmology recently announced by the Scottish Government, we are excited by the possibilities as our services continue to evolve across the board, constantly striving to improve as a national resource for NHSScotland and providing safe and effective care for all our patients.

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